Why companies migrate help desk software and how to do it right
Discover how businesses migrate help desk software to improve their customer support. Learn how to transfer data with a comprehensible migration strategy.
Published December 21, 2021
Last updated January 5, 2022
For many businesses, migrating support operations to new help desk software can be intimidating. That hesitancy can be rooted in fears that the process will be too challenging, expensive, and time-consuming.
And when using old help desk platforms, companies often ignore the flaws and limitations. That willingness to “make do” and kick the can down the road is a very human quality.
Frankly, there are no good reasons for being stuck with subpar software. So if you’ve been waiting for a sign to make the jump to a new platform, wait no more. Your business has a multitude of reasons to make the change.
Why do businesses switch their help desk software?
Companies rarely pay enough attention to help desk software at the early stages of business development. The problems begin when the business expands, and the customer support team can’t keep up. Here are several reasons why companies decide their current help desk solutions are not enough anymore.
1. They want to upgrade from email support
Email-only support might cut it for starting businesses thanks to its simplicity. However, relying solely on email affects the quality of customer support because:
- Emails can get lost in a shared corporate inbox
- Managers can't track support agents' workflows accurately
- The nature of email makes collaboration between agents very difficult
- A shared email inbox results in delayed support and duplicative efforts
That said, help desk platforms neatly organize customer requests from multiple channels (email, chat, phone, and social media) and provide advanced management features. Your agents will then have an easier time resolving requests and won’t miss a single ticket.
2. They switch to cloud-based solutions to reduce costs
According to a 2019 Deloitte survey, 91 percent of organizations keep their data on cloud platforms. Increasingly, companies with on-premise software plan to migrate their systems to the cloud.
“As businesses acquire more customers, they inevitably get more customer requests,” said Maxim Orlovsky, CEO of Help Desk Migration. “Larger enterprises also use in-depth analytics features and measure hundreds of metrics. If your current platform can’t handle the load, your best option is to move to cloud-based help desk software with higher server capacity. On top of that, third-party cloud providers also take care of the platform’s server updates, maintenance, and security. This ensures you’ll spend less money and time on infrastructure management so your support team can focus on helping clients.”
3. They are dissatisfied with the product support
Companies also migrate help desk software because of poor product support and irregular software and security updates. In the worst-case scenario, as your product nears the end of its lifecycle (EOL), you might end up losing your help desk portal if you don’t migrate in time. That drives organizations to switch to other solutions with more frequent updates.
4. They have separate help desk software for different products
Businesses without a customer success strategy can end up using multiple help desk software solutions for different products. The same might happen after a company acquires another business.
Managing multiple support platforms puts an extra strain on the support teams. To stay productive, companies must merge help desk data to a centralized solution.
5. The current software lacks valuable features
Companies often make the switch to new help desk platforms because their old tools lacked advanced functionality (macros, analytics, custom workflows, and so on) and omnichannel support. Many businesses also need self-service features to provide support 24 hours a day and satisfy customers’ growing preference for resolving issues on their own.
This brings us to the next question. If you decide to upgrade from your platform, what features would you need?
Features to consider in your help desk platform
Modern help desk platforms offer a significant number of features that can dramatically improve the level of support your company can offer customers. Here’s a look at some functionality that will improve agent efficiency and result in better customer service.
Ticket management system
This is the core functionality of a help desk platform. It helps support leaders organize and delegate customer requests. A solid platform supports filtering options, tagging, and progress tracking to help your support agents work smarter and better.
Knowledge base and other self-service tools
A public directory that contains crucial business information, guides, and answers to the most common questions, a knowledge base is an essential tool for helping customers help themselves. Strong search functionality is a must—self-service tools’ popularity has risen by 65 percent after the pandemic. And be sure to think about an internal knowledge base to help your agents document tricky problems and best practices.
According to the 2020 Live Chat Benchmark Report, companies with over 26 support members saw a 94 percent increase in monthly chat requests. In other words, live chat for real-time support is a must for most businesses.
Chatbots can resolve common questions and low-priority tasks without human input. Over 90 percent of companies plan to use AI bots for self-service by 2022 to reduce their expenses and improve quality.
According to the 2021 Forrester study, support agents’ workstreams include access to customer insights and communication tools. Your agents should be able to easily reach other employees for technical consultation or to escalate tickets to supervisors when needed.
Real-time and historical data about popular keywords, commonly asked questions, and widespread issues can help you update your help desk with relevant information. It can also give managers key information for maintaining optimal staffing—for example, if a particular channel or time sees heavier-than-normal support requests.
Social media support
Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social networks are the primary touchpoints for many customers. You should consider help desk software that integrates with these networks to make the support feel seamless.
Now, how do you transfer all your systems from an old platform painlessly? The following section can guide you through the process.
Preparing to migrate help desk software
Companies often postpone migration because of the complexity. After all, this process is often lengthy and riddled with issues. A single incorrect action could turn into a chain of broken dependencies, mismapped data, incompatible formats, and lost records.
However, you can make your migration much more predictable with a clear strategy.
Why do you need a data migration strategy?
A data migration strategy is a documented plan on moving your existing data, workloads, and settings to another help desk platform. It should cover the data transfer process, outline responsibilities, define risks, and describe how to deal with them.
The strategy is one of the main elements of a successful migration, according to the 2020 Deloitte Insights report. Devoting enough attention to your migration strategy can reduce subsequent remapping, remigrating, and extra tinkering with settings.
Accordingly, companies should develop a data migration checklist to ensure they don’t miss anything critical. To migrate help desk software successfully:
- Assign stakeholders responsible for different parts of the migration
- Audit your data (customer requests, agents, customer profiles, and related records)
- Identify risks (data corruption, incompatibility, server downtime) and ways to address them
- Select the data you want to transfer or erase (unused workflows, old notifications, duplicate and inaccurate entries)
- Create a re-migration plan to restore your data in case the migration fails
- Find the data migration software with responsive technical support
- Test the migration by transferring a portion of the data to a new platform
Switching platforms is tricky if you lack experience. Fortunately, there’s reliable data migration software to help you out.
The bottom line
Replacing an old platform with scalable and feature-rich help desk software will improve your support quality and reduce operating expenses. It can make your customers and support agents happier. But to make the transfer successful, you’ll need to devote enough time to build a detailed data migration strategy. And better yet, consider a reliable data migration tool to save your effort, money, and precious time.